So, what’s that jazz?
Blake’s got his solera-fine intuition working for him. I think by whole typing he means something more than that, but unless I’ve missed it somewhere he hasn’t set out to anatomize it for us. Which is probably wise. But I’m curious.
I’d like to venture a mind-sized model for some of what is meant by whole typing. If I say “function dyads” that will by now seem both obvious and less than helpful. “Seeing two functions at once,” maybe. That’s the art. But which two?
A person has 28 function dyads, a lunar cycle’s worth. Throw in the necessary astrology, to say nothing of tritones, and it’s cacophony.
Clearly, some dyads say more than others.
John Beebe, in a Jungian context, talks about two kinds of function dyad (not by that name). He picks out seven basic function dyads (like a musical scale) and six function dyads we might call chords, for a total of thirteen significant function dyads.
Beebe’s basic dyads consist of the dominant function paired with each of the other seven. Viewed this way, he has found that they take on archetypal resonance as the hero’s encounter with father/mother, endless child, anima/animus, rival, senex/witch, trickster, and demon.
His chordic function dyads are “spine” (I-IV), “arms” (II-III), and the four shadow pairings (I-V, II-VI, III-VII, IV-VIII).
In other words, as an analyst who spends fifty hours or a hundred or more doing analysis with a single person, with a focus on transformation, Beebe finds it useful to have thirteen pairs of functions to see at once. Still too many, unless you’re an ENTP and into Schoenberg!
We could say from a different point of view that for typing there is only one basic dyad, which is I-II (Ni-Fe, for the INFJ). Tap-tap-tap, the sound of one hand typing. This is ideally true but, for various reasons, deceptive or not informative enough to be useful. One good reason is that, in how someone presents, the dominant function is sort of implicit and the auxiliary can be totally silenced. Stellar Maze is about getting past this.
A lot of the articles aren’t directly concerned with typing. There’s a focus on II-VI (Fe flow) and II-VII (minimums). The depths, the shadows. Also I-III and III-VI (looping).
With whole typing we’re talking about sussing a person. That’s beach rock, or maybe at most Beach Boys. Fundamentally, there are three dyads that are strong and visible enough to start from: I-IV, II-III, and II-VI. We learn how those pairs work and how to see them, and I’m guessing that we get a working grasp of whole typing.
That’s in general.
What can I say about I-IV? Dominant and inferior. This is what Beebe calls the spine, where a person’s integrity lives. Hero and anima/animus. Dorothy (Fe) and the Scarecrow (inferior Ti) is the example he talks about.
Blake said this dyad has to do with information feedback that orients the ego, and that the inferior can appear like lightning. There’s an inferior grip that can be seen sometimes.
The image that comes to me is a fountain. Maybe Blake suggested that somewhere.
I was thinking a little while ago about ISJs. Usually, I don’t notice them, because why would I? But I do live with one. What usually catches my eye in an ISJ, if anything at all, is the bubbly quality of their inferior Ne.
I worked with an accomplished ISTJ woman, a lawyer and former medical professional. She is nearing retirement. She liked me and would tell me about her family, her hobbies, and memories from her career. I fell asleep writing that sentence but the woman has, I guess, a strong aura. Her fountain runs steady and clear.
The thought occurred to me that one way to size up a person’s psychic health is to attend to the state of their I-IV. We look at the inferior function in isolation, which can be murky or grippy or zesty or endearing. But maybe a true sign of character development or integration is when the I-IV dyad itself is visible. A person who’s really made it will show their spine and it will look like a fountain.
But we were talking about typing anyone, not just the elect.
When we want to be well-regarded, I think we tend to stick out our I-IV. It’s like psychic duck-face, we can’t help it. The ego wants credit for its mastery of its opposite. It gutters blindly towards fountainhood.
This makes I-IV a great starting point for quick typing and particularly typing from photos.
Paradoxically, we’d rather type from the auxiliary and tertiary, II-III and II-VI, because we have more knowledge about these dyads. They’re vivid and there are strong examples to learn from. Lots of material. But they’re also sort of a confusing place to start, because there are two dyads involved and it’s difficult not to mix them up. (And we know that sometimes it’s tricky to say whether a function we see in a person, like Fe, is dominant or somewhere in the II-III/II-VI dyads, which means you’d be trying to sort out three dyads at once.)
The I-IV is stable and impossible to hide, even if not obvious.
How about an illustration! I did some quick Googling and found the image at the top.
To me these women read at a glance as ENFP and ESFP. Those types may not be correct, or you may disagree, but more importantly what I’m seeing instantly in the photo is the Ne-Si spine on the left and the Se-Ni spine on the right.
This also shows how a quick typing from II-III or II-VI could be confusing. (Is that Fi or Fe?) The woman on the left could be ISFJ, maybe. From video clips I think she’s ENFP. (Her name is Alice Levine-- I think she does podcasts and quiz shows in the UK?)